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Book: Scaling Force by Rory Miller & Lawrence A. Kane

Product Information

Book: Paperback

Availability: In Stock and Ready to Ship—Cart Button

Pages: 342

Illustrations: 11

Code: B2504

ISBN: 978-1-59439-250-4

Release Date: October 1, 2012

Skill Level: Skill level 1 recomended Skill level 2 recomended Skill level 3 recomended

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Use too much force and you are going to jail.
Use too little force and you’re in for a world of hurt.

Conflict and violence cover a broad range of behaviors, from intimidation to murder, and they require an equally broad range of responses. A kind word will not resolve all situations, nor will wristlocks, punches or even a gun.

In Scaling Force the authors introduce you to the full range of options, from skillfully doing nothing to applying deadly force. They realistically guide you through understanding the limits of each type of force, when specific levels may be appropriate, the circumstances under which you may have to apply them, and the potential cost, legally and personally, of your decision.

  • Level 1— Presence. Staving off violence using body language alone.
  • Level 2 – Voice. Verbally de-escalating conflict before physical methods become necessary.
  • Level 3 – Touch. Defusing an impending threat or gaining compliance via touch.
  • Level 4 – Empty-Hand Restraint. Controlling a threat through pain or forcing compliance through leverage.
  • Level 5 – Less-Lethal Force. Incapacitating a threat while minimizing the likelihood of fatality or permanent injury.
  • Level 6 – Lethal Force. Stopping a threat with techniques or implements likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm.

It is vital to enter this scale at the right level, and to articulate why what you did was appropriate. If you do not know how to succeed at all six levels there are situations in which you will have no appropriate options. More often than not, that will end badly.

Rory Miller

Rory Miller has served for seventeen years in corrections as an officer and sergeant working maximum security, booking and mental health; leading a tactical team; and teaching subjects ranging from Defensive Tactics and Use of Force to First Aid and Crisis Communications with the Mentally Ill.

Lawrence A. Kane

Since 1970, Lawrence Kane has studied and taught traditional Asian martial arts, medieval European combat, and modern close-quarter weapon techniques. Working stadium security part-time over 26 years he was involved in hundreds of violent altercations, but got paid to watch football. A world-renown judicious use-of-force expert, he was once interviewed in English by a reporter from a Swiss magazine for an article that was published in French, and finds that oddly amusing. Lawrence lives in Seattle, WA. Lawrence lives in Seattle, WA.

Armed Citizen's Legal Defense Network - Reviewed by Gila Hayes, Online review: Scaling Force

Coming out alive is not as simple as instructors, books, or training DVDs make it seem. I can think of no one more qualified to write on the topic of decisions bearing on use of physical force.

Armed Citizen's Legal Defense Network - Interview with Lawrence A. Kane Interview with Lawrence A. Kane

Iain Abernethy, 6th Dan; British Combat Association Hall of Fame Member

If you are serious about learning self-protection, and not indulging some testosterone fuelled, celluloid inspired fantasy, then you need a much wider skill set than most appreciate. The knowledge contained within is what anybody who is serious about keeping themselves safe needs to know.

Marc MacYoung (

Both Kane and Miller have hundreds of hands-on violent encounters under their belts. They understand the importance of knowing the legal restrictions of force, how to judge the danger, how to choose the right response level, how to articulate those choices and how to navigate the trap-filled aftermath of violence.

M. Guthrie, Federal Air Marshal

This book is one of the best I’ve read about the challenges you’ll face. Kane and Miller have been there, done that and have the t-shirt. And they’re giving you their lessons learned without requiring you to pay the fee in blood they had to in order to learn them. And that is priceless.

Ron Breines, Kyoshi, certified firearms/self defense tactical instructor

This is an incredible book that I will insist all my martial arts and firearms students read. It will undoubtedly save lives and hopefully much anguish.

Lieutenant Jon Lupo, New York State Police

If you’re serious about learning how the application of physical force works —before, during and after the fact—I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

Julie Van Dielen, Law Enforcement Training Resources (

When do you walk away from an insult, try to talk down the angry drunk, take a baseball bat to an intruder, shoot an armed robber? With exercises and anecdotes, Scaling Force explores the motivations, the decision spectrum and the consequences, because there are always consequences.

Loren W. Christensen, 8th dan black belt, author (

Let Kane and Miller, two veterans of countless down-and-dirty confrontations, give you the edge to survive a dangerous situation.

Alain Burrese, J.D., attorney, author, former U.S. Army sniper instructor (

Kane and Miller have written a book that provides much more than a cursory look at some very important elements regarding violence. Scaling Force not only provides tools on how to deal with violence, but also when and to what level you should deal with violence.

Tracy Getty, Certified Firearms Instructor

While instruction on the mechanics and techniques of self defense and deadly force is readily available from multiple sources; this book gives you so much more. Take advantage of the information compiled from hundreds of case studies to better prepare yourself if the day comes when you have to make that ‘life changing’ decision.

Press and Publicity

Ikigaiway: Blogging the Martial Way


Midwest Book Review: California Bookwatch

Fox 40 WICZ News

Midwest Book Review: Library Bookwatch


Bronze Winner – 2013 eLit Awards

Finalist – 2013 Next Generation Indie Books Award

Finalist – 2013 Book of the Year Award by ForeWord Magazine

Elit Book of the Year  Finalist

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